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Frequently Asked Questions

              Downloading               Installing               Connecting               Using               Recordings              


Question:
Who may download NEW?
Answer:
The NEW system is free for academic purposes.

Question:
How do I get help with NEW?
Answer:
Our staff is very limited, and though we are willing to offer you some help in getting started, we cannot offer any significant technical support. As you probably know, this is the policy for most open-source software. But we have tried to anticipate questions and difficulties in our documentation, so we hope you will be able to set up and use NEW readily. Feedback from you is welcome.

This web site for NEW (http://netlab.gmu.edu/NEW/) includes a download page - use the "download" link in the menu on the left side of the NEW home page - that provides download links for the NEW client, server and web management pages. Several versions are available and all are compiled code. We suggest you use the newest one. These downloads each contain a README file with extensive instructions. You should begin with the Server download.

(Note: the "Open Source" link on the NEW home page goes to the page with download links for the NEW source code.)



DOWNLOADING

Question:
Can I use the NEW software with Windows XP?
Answer:
We have experienced no problems running NEW under Windows XP.

Question:
Can I use NEW with Windows Vista?
Answer:
Yes, NEW will run under Windows Vista. Please note that the installation requires Administrator privileges. More information

Question:
On the download web page, it says that the size of the NEW Client is 10MB. Unfortunately, when I downloaded it, I only received 163KB. What did I do wrong?
Answer:
When you allow all of the tools to load, it will be at least 10MB. The tools will load if you allow the download to execute as set in the zipfile. Alternately, you can install just the master client and then click on newadd.bat.

Question:
The clients that I downloaded do not have Floor Control.
Is it the way it should be?
Answer:
In NEW releases through 4.0.0, the Floor Control does not load until the first time it is used in an online session.

Question:
I have installed NEW client on windows XP home edition.I am not able to find these following files: DEMO-LIVE.nwc and DEMO-PLAY-STREAMING.nwc in the NEW directory.

Answer:
These files are not found locally on your system but sent from the web server when connecting to the live server.

You can test the NEW client by going to http://netlab.gmu.edu/disted or http://disted.ite.gmu.edu depending on which course you are enrolled in and using the selecting "Test your connection" on the welcome after you log on.

INSTALLING

Question:
I am using Windows Vista and get the message, "error in 16-bit waveInOpen testing format" when starting NEW. What should I do?
Answer:
For many users this problem has been remedied by updating the audio drivers on their system. Try visiting your system manufacturer's support website and installing the latest audio device drivers. If this does not fix your problem, send email to help@netlab.gmu.edu.

Question:
I tried to download and install, but I get an error message saying to install java 1.4. I think I did download J2SE 1.4.2. Is there another option?
Answer:
Try uninstalling all versions of java on your machine. Then goto Java and download the latest 1.5 by clicking the 'download now' button. If you need the JDK, try the Java Sun website. The problem is that java isn't in your path and NEW isn't able to find it on your system. A proper installation should remedy this.

Question:
Does the NEW install program use the JAVA_HOME environment variable to find the installation of the JDK?
Answer:
The installation program tries several ways to locate Java 1.4 runtime. JAVA_HOME is on the list; but it tries the Windows registry first. If there is a problem with the registry setting, JAVA_HOME will not be consulted. Reinstalling Java 1.4 typically resets the registry values.

Question:
When I try to install the NEW software with my Windows 98, I get an error message about the installer. What should I do?
Answer:
Download and install the Windows Installer from Microsoft. You can download it from here.

Question:
My NEW installation freezes. The console reads:
NEW Master Client 040300 starting java cmd:
"C:\Windows\System32\java.exe" -classpath "C:\PROGRA~1\NEW\NEWC040204" testJava14"

What should I do?
Answer:
You should install (or reinstall) the Sun's Java Runtime Environment from here.

Question:
When installing the client, the application fails with the message, "NEW client software download failed." What should I do?
Answer:
If you are connecting from behind a web proxy server or have local firewall software running, such as Norton Internet Security or ZoneAlarm, try disabling these while installing NEW. Or you could configure your security system to grant access to the NEW java application. NEW needs to connect to the Internet to download additional components during the initial installation and may need to do so again later to install updates.

Question:
When I installed NEW, why didn't I get an icon in the programs menu?
Answer:
NEW does not install an icon in the programs menu. It is a client for Web access, and as such it is not normally run independently of a webpage. The NEW clients will be invoked when you access the webpage https://netlab.gmu.edu/.

You also can run PLAY-STANDALONE in C:\Program Files\NEW by clicking on it, if you have downloaded NEW recordings and want to play them standalone. If you want an icon for PLAY-STANDALONE on your desktop, you can make a shortcut or just copy the file to your desktop.



CONNECTING

Question:
How do I connect to NEW for a live class using my browser?
Answer:
For a detailed description, choose the link for your browser:
Mozilla Firefox    Internet Explorer    Opera

Question:
My Speak Freely window says it cannot support the audio format. What should I do? Answer:
This is a Windows problem and the answer is to reboot.

Question:
I normally use 800x600 monitor resolution and there just is not enough room for everything. Do you have any suggestions?
Answer:
If you are not planning to ask spoken questions, run the LISTEN-ONLY version of NEW. It has a smaller GUI.

Question:
Though I can hear the instructor with the NEW software, he cannot hear me. What should I do?
Answer:
First ensure sound is working on your computer. Use the "sound test" button on the NEW Speak Freely panel. It will capture a short segment from your microphone and play it back.If the green bar does not bounce when you speak, either your microphone is not working or the volume needs to be increased. If the bar bounces, but you do not hear sound coming back soon after, either your speakers/earphones are not working or the play volume needs to be turned up.

Question:
I am running 64 bit Linux and I keep getting error messages about missing whiteboard libraries. What should I do?
Answer:
With Linux Red Hat install these libraries:
  yum install glibc.i686
  yum install libstdc++.i686
  yum install libX11.i686
  yum install libXScrnSaver.i686
using your apt-get command.
For non Red Hat based distributions, look for the libraries in their respective package managers, e.g. on Ubuntu use apt-get or search in Synaptic.

Question:
I am getting disconnected from my live class repeatedly. What can I do?
Answer:
There are several sources for this problem. Check for them with these steps.
First, if you have been connecting with video, try connecting without it.

Second, reboot your machine before connecting with NEW. This is especially important if you have not rebooted for some time.

Third, see if your disconnects are due to your web connection. If other network applications are sluggish, NEW will not be able to work, because it needs streaming delivery of at least 56 kb/s.

Fourth, be sure there is no background application running on your machine such as messenger/AIM or a P2P program.

Finally, check your machine for spyware/worms/viruses that may be creating general instability and/or saturating your network connection. Try installing Microsoft Anti-spyware and running an anti-virus scanner. Look in the task manager for DLLHOST.EXE or SVCHOST.EXE. These can be legitimate processes, but if the names are all capital letters, it may be the w32 welchia worm. To eliminate this worm, run the tool at Symantec website. You may safely run this tool whether you have the worm or not.



USING

Question:
When I send a message to the professor, it is displayed in the window for text received. Do the other online students see that message?
Answer:
Typing in the pink text window sends messages for the instructor alone to see. The white text window is a chat area for all participants to see.

Question:
How about adding student microphones to NEW?
Answer:
If you are going to add student microphones, they need to be combined through a mixer with the instructor microphone, not brought in through NEW running on student machines. The half-duplex sound in NEW assumes no two machines are within sound reach of each other; otherwise you get feedback. There are basically three options for the student mics:
1. leave them open all the time- this results in a great deal of noise going out on the net and into the recording.
2. voice-activate the mics- this is expensive and ends up being just the same as #1 because any cough, dropped item, etc. activates the mic.
3. have the students push a button to activate--this results in the instructor constantly saying, "Push the button on the mic before you speak."
Bottom line: Our experience shows student mics are not a good use of money, instructor time, class time, or technician time. I strongly prefer a single wireless mic that can be worn by the instructor and passed to a student who has something long to say. (A two-channel system with one worn by the instructor and the other available to pass around is even better. In this case, the second should be hand-held not clip-on.) When the student has a short question or comment, the instructor should repeat or paraphrase it for the group. This is actually the best teaching technique in any case, whether you are online or not.



RECORDINGS

Question:
When I try double clicking on PLAY STANDALONE, I get the following error: "unable to connect to record/playback server - continue anyhow? (click CANCEL to quit)." Could you tell me how can I solve this problem?
Answer:
This is usually a symptom that you do not have Java installed. See the downloads page for a link to get it.

Question:
When I playback a class, sometimes the slides seem to be out of order. Why?
Answer:
There was a bug in the playback resequencing. When the instructor went forward a slide, and then back, the slide did not in fact go back. So all the marks got made on the wrong slide. This bug has now been fixed so future classes will not have this problem. We are resequencing the files of past classes, but this may take some time.

Question:
Why do the slides not play properly when I change classes on playback?
Answer:
The whiteboard caches slides as received. You should restart NEW when you go to the second class and the problem will not occur.

Question:
Can I see the recordings of past semesters' courses?
Answer:
It is now possible to access recordings from the previous semesters, for students who were enrolled in the courses at that time. Take the 'Past semesters' link on the menu of the logon page and choose the semester, then logon with your user name and password.

Question:
I would like to stop and come back to the same point in a lecture recording, but when I use the forward button to position the recording, the slides and the instructor's markings get out of sync. What should I do?
Answer:
The recording works by playing back a stream, so what you want is virtually impossible. However, the player is built to skip forward by exactly one slide each time you click the double-arrow-forward button. If you do that, you'll get to see the slide.

Question:
Is it possible for me to use NEW to make a recording?
Answer:
Yes, you can make your own recording and play it back with NEW. Follow these instructions.






Last updated: 02/16/2010